Monday, January 10

One Today at a Time

Elder Christofferson's remarks last night seemed like they were intended specifically for me, in my life. Recently I've been looking at the future and wondering how I will ever be able to understand what happens, live with being attracted to guys, be celibate for as long as God intends, and maybe never really find anyone who can fully understand me other than God Himself.

The story of manna in the wilderness as he recounted it helped me realize that God gives me my daily bread - daily. He doesn't give it to me for a week, or a month, or for the rest of my life. Every single day, He expects me to turn to Him for the spiritual strength to get through the day... and when I have made it through today, then to turn again to Him tomorrow. It's not because He doesn't love me - on the contrary, the Lord gave manna in the wilderness and gives strength in my life to prove to me, each and every day, that He is with me in all things.

It also gives me hope. Sometimes I see men who have decided that, because the mountain of living a faithful life while being attracted to guys looks too hard, they won't take the first step. Or they lose hope and give up halfway when they look forward and see so far to go. The Lord doesn't ask us to conquer the mountain in a day. He just asks us to move forward, and have faith in Him, for today. And then tomorrow, He will give us the strength to overcome whatever faces us on the morrow. I have a hard time being an existentialist, but Elder Christofferson's was essentially teaching the importance of living in the moment - enjoying life and facing the trials of today, today. And then facing tomorrow, tomorrow.

One of the greatest concerns men have that talk with me is this: I don't know how I can stay true for my entire life. How can I resist temptation for that long, especially if I don't get married and face life without a family or a spouse? Even if I try to do what is right, I will always feel like an outcast in the Church since it focuses so heavily on families. How can I do it?

The answer is that, today, I don't have to do it all. I just need to live and work through today. Tomorrow, God will give me the strength tomorrow. But yes, I do not have the strength to face a lifetime of trials today. No one does. Thankfully, God does not ask me to build the walls of Jerusalem in a day, or to change our very being in a moment. The conversion He asks for, while usually dramatic and always life-changing, normally takes place day by day as I live out my life in His service. ... And He promises to give me the strength to live each day, and then to give me strength for tomorrow, tomorrow. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.

Someday I hope to cross over the river Jordan and eat of the corn of the land - to walk in paths of righteousness and have the strength and faith to face the rest of life and see through the darkness to the light. But in the meantime, I'll turn to God, ask Him for my daily spiritual bread, and give thanks for the manna that falls from Heaven as I turn to Him. Tomorrow is tomorrow. And until it comes, I will live my life today... one today at a time.


  1. Thanks for your post. I needed this encouragement right now. Looking ahead to a whole life spent alone is very overwhelming, but one day at a time is okay.

  2. That is so true for all of us with any trials.... Good job for surviving today. See you tomorrow. :)

  3. Wow. What a beautiful application of the manna experience in the wilderness.

    I needed this today. Thank you.

  4. I think too that although this is, and probably always will be, a daily trial for you, it's important to remember that the Lord will not allow us to be tried above that which we can stand. You of all people know this to be true. On the days where you have felt alone and perhaps thought of straying, the Lord has sent people to you to help you, scriptures to guide you, and the spirit to comfort you. As long as you always strive to live and keep his commandments he will always be there for you.

  5. Thanks for the exposition on that incredible fireside. Sometimes we obsessively worry over enduring to the end instead of enduring today. The catch is, that worrying about so much in futurity leaves us open and vulnerable to mistakes of the present that cause us to forfeit that future reward. What a wicked wile of the adversary!

    Thanks for bringing that to my attention again.

  6. I think the same thing could be said for just about any single Mormon. There are plenty of worthy members out there who, for any number of reasons, are still not married. You are an inspiration to so many. Thank you.

  7. Wonderful post! It applies to ALL of us no matter what our personal trials might be.

  8. I read a NY Times article yesterday by a (former) Mormon lady who was still single and in her mid-30s and finally decided to toss is all aside for "freedom". She (and many who commented) thought it was ridiculous to be denied the basic human experience of sex and that what God/"her religion" asked was too much. I think she lacked the perspective E. Christofferson was talking about. Dealing with that we've got in front of us today is plenty without trying to figure out the rest of our lives and eternity too. Part of faith is trusting the Lord to help us figure things out bit by bit as we go along.

  9. I love this post! I love your honesty and authentic nature! I, too, have a several lifelong physical hardships and wonder how I can get by daily. This quote helps me a great deal. I hope it will help you as well. C S Lewis from Mere Christianity: "Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of — throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."

  10. You are beautiful. I truly hope you find what you deserve.

  11. I enjoyed your post. It teaches the doctrine of enduring to the end that applies to everyone, regardless of the struggle. As a red blooded, heterosexual, American male I struggle with the natural man, especially when attractive women with tight or revealing clothing cross my path. I never say or think anything overly inappropriate, I just have a difficult time viewing them as daughters of the Most High God.

    Anyway, at least I get express my affections toward the opposite sex within the bounds the Lord has set (marriage), something you, my friend, are unable to do. Hence your struggle is more difficult than mine. However, the greater the trial, the greater the blessings. Right?

    God bless you.



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